Investigating Accountability of Police: Case Commentary
Author: Siddharth Kumar
Designation: 3rd year student, Gujarat national law university, Gujarat
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Case Comment- State NCT of Delhi Vs. Amit Sharma and Ors Crl. A. 902/2013
FACTS OF THE CASE
In the current, case which is related one Mr. Tarun Kumar which was kidnapped for some ransom amount. Police received a complaint regarding Tarun Kumar that he went missing since 25th September 2003 and even not receiving calls from anybody. While doing call by Cousin of Tarun Kumar, someone picks a call and demands an amount of Rs 25 Lakhs as Ransom. In the Police investigation it was found that Tarun was last seen with Amit who is a friend of Tarun. Later on, 28th September 2003, the dead body of Tarun recovered. In this case accused Amit is acquitted by the session court, later an appeal is filed before the High Court of Delhi for compensation.
Accountability of police in matters related to acquittal of criminals due to distorted evidence and lack of investigation?
Whether the negligence of the government authority in a sheer straight case when prosecution is not able to prove the fact and result in acquaintance?
Remedy while being given to the party which suffer damage due to the false investigation of the police?
Appellant (Plaintiff) state that due to carelessness of the administrivia body in the present case which is police any common citizen suffers any loss or harm. It is the liability of the state to give compensation to the plaintiff for their carelessness in the tort law. Tortious liability can even arise out of criminal cases. As in the current case no reasonableness care is maintained by the administrative bodies. In the current case, the conviction can easily be done, although that does not happen because of state machinery. The State is responsible by the principle of vicarious liability due to negligence of Police. The plaintiff is fully able to get judicial remedy to enhance oversight for violation of constitutional right or the statutory provision. Under article 246 of the Indian constitution, police fall in the state list therefore the state is vicariously liable for each single and small act of the police officer which causes damage to the plaintiff in the question.
Respondent, submitted that the description of clothes of the deceased given in the DD entry is different from those found on the dead body of the deceased. There is no evidence on record to establish the conviction of the accused. It is further submitted that no recovery, as alleged, has ever been made from the accused persons and no public witness was joined in the recovery proceedings. Moreover, the father of the deceased had not stated anything in his statements recorded under Section 161 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. As there is no negligence on part of Police, therefore there is no vicarious liability of the state.
In view of the totality of discussion made during the proceeding, the Court view that though the prosecution has been able to raise doubts about the involvement of the accused persons, it has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused for the offences charged against them. The accused is entitled to the benefit of doubt. Accordingly, the judgment passed by the below Court is upheld. Accordingly, the present appeal is dismissed. The court also gave order to take administrative action against the culprit police in the charge of negligence and breach of care on part of Police while performing duty. If the person who assigned the work of investigation is negligence, then the appropriate action will be required by the authority. Court although didn’t give any compensation in the current case but it is found that in any situation, where employee of state is performance any negligent act state can be held liable for vicarious liability.
1. Prakash vs Union of India (2006) 8 SCC 1.
2. Constitution of India, 1950.
3. Criminal Procedure Act, 1973.
4. Hira Lal versus State,2011 (3) LRC 262 (Del) (DB).
5. Vineet Narian v. UOI (1998) 8 SCC 1.